Christian parents panic after students learn about Islam: Complaints concerning students learning about Islam in Tennessee public schools has prompted paranoid lawmakers to push for a ban on teaching anything about Islam until high school.
Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, is leading the charge against students learning about Islam in public schools, and has proposed legislation prohibiting any public school course teaching anything deemed to be “religious doctrine” until the 10th, 11th or 12th grade.
The legislation is designed to address a flood of complaints from parents in numerous school districts in Tennessee and other states centered on lessons about Islam recently taught to middle school students in the sixth and seventh grade.
On Friday Butt denied her bill was aimed at Islam, while noting:
I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age appropriate. They are not able to discern a lot of times whether it’s indoctrination or whether they’re learning about what a religion teaches.
Tennessee education officials and teachers argue the course work in question does not constitute “indoctrination” and is developmentally appropriate.
In the supposedly controversial social studies lessons students might learn the Five Pillars of Islam or read from religious texts, but that information is only used to provide historical context about the influence the religion has on various regions of the world.
The truth is that Tennessee public school students are not being indoctrinated and/or secretly converted to Islam in their social studies classes. Instead, this legislation is really about some frightened and ignorant Christian parents who want to keep their children ignorant as well.
The fact that Butt and other conservative Republican legislators are seeking to enforce what amounts to academic censorship is a sad commentary on the anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance that continues to infect much of the South.
Bottom line: Knowledge is power. The more a student learns about any and all religions, the more likely that student will be able to make well reasoned and rational choices in their own life – which is ultimately what these concerned Christian parents fear the most.
“Teach a child one religion, and you indoctrinate them.
Teach a child all religions, and you inoculate them.”